Lake Como is the third largest of the Italian lakes, located at the foot of the Alps and a centrepiece for one of the most picturesque landscapes in Italy. Also known as Lario, Lake Como represents the shape of an inverted Y, and each branch of the lake is studded with historic towns showcasing beautifully quaint Renaissance architecture.

Fertile soil and the Mediterranean sun make the perfect recipe for luscious gardens that overflow with bright blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias amongst other flora that blankets the landscape. The clean water, fresh climate and mountainous surroundings attract both tourists and locals alike throughout the year to wind down and explore the beaches, coves and cuisine that Lake Como has to offer. 

The lake attracts the most crowds during the summer months when the water offers a respite from the mid-season heat, so as the temperatures begin to descend into the autumnal months the crowds do as well. Visiting Lake Como in September lets you enjoy warm weather but smaller crowds, offering a romantic and dreamy Italian atmosphere that is ideal for the last holiday of the summer.

Weather

September marks the beginning of the end of the summer season in the Mediterranean, but provides the best of both worlds in terms of the best time to visit. The average temperature at Lake Como in September is 19°C with highs of 22°C and average lows of 14°C.

With 9 hours of sunshine per day, visitors get the perfect amount of time to relax by the water or explore towns in a comfortable level of heat. The lake and surrounding mountains produce a light, cooling breeze that is appreciated on the hotter days of the month, so the climate never gets overwhelmingly humid.

September is more susceptible to occasional showers than the summer months, with rainfall averaging 105mm over an average of 10 wet days. Don’t let this put you off visiting in September however, as showers are mostly short-lived and often appreciated as an opportunity to cool off. Though, being prepared with a light rain jacket or carrying a small umbrella in your day bag may be a sensible idea. 

You can still enjoy a dip in the crystal clear water of Lake Como against a dramatic mountainous backdrop, as the water temperature in September is 20°C on average. This large glacial lake is the deepest of them all in the region, so although comfortable to swim in, by the end of the month the temperatures may begin to drop.

Sunset over Italian Lake

How to Get There

The most accessible way to get to Lake Como is via Milan. There are 2 main airports in the city, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate, both situated only around an hour away from Lake Como. Once landed in Milan, the best mode of transport is to catch a train that will take you straight to one of the lakeside towns around Como. 

Car rental is another way to get across to Lake Como from Milan, although driving in and amongst the mountains can be tricky, although it is a breathtakingly scenic option. If taking on the challenge of this road trip, then follow the Autrada A9 before embarking upon the criss-cross route that will eventually guide you to where you’re staying around the Lake.

Once arrived, the most enjoyable and efficient way to get around Lake Como and visit the many towns dotted along the lakeside is by ferry. Multiple ferries (including car ferries) will be in operation, which are usually a hassle-free, reliable mode of transport that allows you to sit back and enjoy the views from the water.

Privately hired motor boats are a fun and flexible way of exploring the sights at your own leisure, although if travelling on a budget this may not be the most feasible option. Private water taxis however, can be relatively cheap and easy to book – just ask at the reception of your hotel. 

Boat on Lake Como

Festivals and Events

Palio Remiero Regatta

This annual regatta is a tradition dating back to the late middle ages. Participants from a number of neighbouring municipalities along the lakeside race against each using the traditional fishing boats ‘Lucie’. The locals get very into the event which creates a lively and competitive atmosphere during the day of the regatta!

Bergamo Jazz Festival

Just outside of Lake Como in Bergamo is an annual jazz festival that is held every September. Since 1969, this 2 day event has hosted international and regional talent and previously some of the most famous names in Jazz have performed, including Gato Barbieri and Keith Jarrett. As well as the main stage, traditional and innovative jazz performances will be held around the city of Bergamo, so there’s lots to see and do if you attend.

Jazz Festival

Arte Solidale Festival

This event is an annual, charity-run music festival that takes place within multiple architecturally stunning locations around the territory of Lake Como. There is a combination of solo, chamber and orchestral performances which are directed especially towards children and families. 

The festival is in aid of charity and runs in collaboration with local social organisations, aiming to raise funds for minors in difficulty in the surrounding areas. The event was originally held in the spring but in recent years has been held in September, however we recommend you check the dates of the events before booking your visit if you don’t want to miss out!

Valtellina Ebike Festival

A rather niche but exciting reason that tourists are drawn towards Lake Como in September is that the nearby town of Valtellina hosts the sports event dedicated to electric mountain bikes. If you are an MTB lover then this 3-day event will definitely satisfy your thrill seeking needs, with tours, races and trails whilst also showcasing the enchanting beauty of Bassa Valtellina and the surrounding ancient villages. 

The main ‘festival ride’ is a 40km mountain bike trail suitable for all that takes you in and amongst vineyards, castles and the panoramic views of the Lower Valtellina. After a day or two of mountain biking at the foot of the Alps, retreating back towards Lake Como will have you appreciating the relaxing atmosphere even more!

Things to See and Do

Explore the Lake by Kayak

There are plenty of places along Lake Como that will offer kayak rentals, but heading off from Bellagio you will be able to discover the local landmarks such as the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and surrounding natural scenery. This is one of the only locations where you are able to see all three branches of the lake in one panoramic view, so it’s a popular route for those exploring the area from the water.

Discovering the area by kayak offers ample photo opportunities as well as being a fun and culturally informative activity if you opt to go with a guide.  

Visit the Cathedral of Como

Also known as the Lake Como Duomo, this cathedral is the third-largest in Lombardy and is definitely worth a visit! Inside the gothic architectural structure is a showcase of artworks, tapestries and stunning glass work from artists spread over 300 years, enabling you to experience an exhibition of multiple ages and styles. 

With it being the end of the summer months with higher chances of showers, this could be an ideal (and free!) activity to have in your back pocket for a rainier day in Lake Como in September.

Lake Como Duomo

Wander the Terraced Gardens of Villa Monastero

Catch a boat to Verrena before exploring the rare and wonderful species of plants and flowers hosted within the walls of the Villa Monastero gardens. This tranquil paradise is the perfect spot to spend a morning marvelling at the impressive landscape surrounded by the fragrant flora. These quiet gardens are also the idyllic location for a lunch stop or romantic picnic. 

Hike up to Monte Grona

1736 m above the town of Menaggio is the summit of Monte Grona, which offers insanely spectacular views of the Alps and Lake Como. Starting from Breglia, the hike should take approximately 6.5 hours and includes some steep ascents, so whilst perhaps not an activity for everyone, the views are most definitely worth it.

The milder temperatures in Lake Como in September means it is one of the best times of year to enjoy this hike. Staying out of the scorching summer heat and on quieter trails means you can comfortably soak up the peaceful surroundings and enjoy the views almost all to yourself.

Monte Grona

Learn to make Authentic Italian Pasta

Discover the region’s recipes by learning to cook them yourself from scratch. There are many private or group classes on offer around Lake Como, many within the home kitchens of locals that live along the lakeside. 

Learn the secrets of authentic Italian cuisine before indulging in the fruits of your labour as well as the wines of the region that will be paired to perfectly complement the cuisine. This is a good opportunity to book a water taxi back to your hotel following an afternoon of wine drinking and pasta eating!

Other Tips

Exploring Lake Como is best done by boat – as mentioned, getting at least one ferry or water taxi is a must when visiting! As well as the unbeatable views you get of the historic towns and coves on the lakeside, boats are the quickest form of transport, meaning you will have extra time to explore the true gems of the area.

Remember a light jacket or waterproof – especially when hiking or biking outdoors. Lake Como in September is warm, but you can get caught in an unexpected chill when the sun descends, or even the occasional shower. It’s always better to be over-prepared than underprepared!

Shop local when buying souvenirs and produce in Lake Como. In all of the towns along the lake there is an abundance of trinket and souvenir shops, so when purchasing your magnets to take home to the fridge or some of the region’s finest olive oils, make sure you choose a local supplier. 

The larger and more commercial tourist vendors will charge you higher prices, will be less authentic to the area and plus, buying from locals gives back to the community.

Lake Como Peninsula

By now, you should be convinced that September is one of the best months to visit Lake Como. The dwindling crowds and relaxed atmosphere offers the perfect escape within the spectacularly beautiful natural surroundings, and the mild and sunny weather offers the perfect climate for getting out and about around the water.

If you want to find out more about Lake Como, and start planning a holiday to this brilliant part of Italy, explore the rest of Italian Breaks and find out more about top attractions and activities in the area.

When To Visit Lake Como By Month:

Lake Como In October

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